It’s not your imagination: More students than ever before are applying early decision.

Many colleges, including Ivy League institutions, have noticed an increase in early decision applicants year over year for the past several years. And the idea of knowing where you’re going to school before second semester can be tempting. But does that mean early decision is right for you?

Early decision is a college admission option in which students can apply in early to mid-November and receive the school’s admission decision within a few weeks, normally before mid-December. While it decreases the amount of time that you’re waiting to hear back, it comes with some important considerations. Not only is it binding—if you get in, that’s where you’ve got to go, with few exceptions—but you don’t have an opportunity to compare financial aid packages against each other.

Unsure whether early decision is right for you? Take this quiz for some guidance.

Applying to college? We can help.
Start Here